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5 Warning Signs Your Business is Under a Cyber Attack

May 26, 2021

Did you know that nearly 50% of online companies suffer at least one cyber attack each year?

That’s why many people consider the online world as the modern Wild West. A place where every business is at risk and no company is too small of a target.

Hackers are always inventing novel ways of stealing sensitive information. But information is not the only pie they carve a slice out of as companies reportedly lose up to $1.33 billion to cyber criminals—every single year.

So how do you keep your business safe in the digital Wild West? Well, a good place to start is by keeping an eye out for these five warning signs of a cyber attack.


1. Strange Computer Behavior

If your computer starts behaving differently than usual, chances are you’re under a cyber attack.

What do we mean by “differently than usual”? Consider these examples:

  • Too many antivirus warnings start popping up for no apparent reason
  • You find new toolbars or extensions in your browser that you don’t remember installing
  • The cursor on your screen randomly moves around on its own as if it has a mind of its own

All such activities certainly fall in the category of strange computer behavior. While this can sometimes be due to a glitch in your system, it usually indicates a compromised network.

2. Unusually Slow Network

We all have the occasional day where everything opens with the pace of a snail. This is true for both internet and any internal business networks.

However, if you’re noticing a significant throttle in your network speed and it consistently stays that way, then you should call the IT department to take a look right away.

By analyzing the traffic logs on your devices and overall network, they can find out if some unauthorized software is eating up your bandwidth and what it’s actually transferring into or out of your network.

3. Missing Data

If the data on any of your devices or online service accounts is missing, it’s a sign that you may have been hacker or “wiped” — the more common term for an attack where data is stolen.

Unfortunately, there’s very little that can be done to recover the lost data in some cases.

4. Unauthorized File Changes

When hackers gain access to an organization’s network, they often modify, change, or even delete essential system files in order to avoid detection.

Such changes are typically completed within seconds. So if your company fails to monitor for even a couple of minutes, the signs of a data breach can stay undetected for a long time. That as a result can lead to massive damage to your company as critical files may be changed and valuable data may be lost.

5. Login Issues

When any user of a network is unable to log in to their account even though they’re sure they have the right credentials, there’s a fair chance that you’re looking at a security breach.

If your login credentials suddenly stop working, it usually points to the following scenarios:

  • Either the hacker has tried to log in too many times without success and temporarily locked the account
  • Or they have cracked in and changed the login credentials for maximum damage

In either case, you will likely have to contact the service provider to restore access to your account.


Security breaches don’t always happen in one step. There’s usually a chain of steps that leads to the final result. That’s why keeping an eye out for the warning signs highlighted in this post is critical.

At the very least you’ll be able to temporarily take your systems offline so you can contain the damage while your team figures out a plan of action.

If you have questions, or if you’d like more information on Optistar’s IT Services, click below and complete the form or call us at 617-459-4409.

For more of our articles related to cybersecurity, be sure to read:

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